Investigating strategic intelligence as a management tool in the mining industry
Boikanyo, Dinko Herman
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The general aim of the study was to investigate the use of strategic intelligence as a strategic management tool in the mining industry. This type of study has never been conducted within this particular environment and as such a valuable contribution could be made to more effective strategic management and business performance within this context. The mining industry was selected for this thesis. The supply of metal and mineral products has underpinned human endeavor over many years and will continue to play a huge role in meeting the needs of many societies. The industry continues to make a significant contribution to the economies of many countries through job creation, contribution to the GDP and socio-economic development. The industry has gone through some considerable challenges with different macro-environmental forces and factors creating a turbulent competitive environment. Amid the complex nature of this environment with much uncertainty, a common denominator for these organisations is the struggle to create a sustainable business performance and competitive advantage. In order for these organisations to survive, it is imperative that they have increased strategic flexibility, speed and innovation to manage environmental discontinuities and unpredictable changes for the creation and maintenance of any competitive advantage. Many of the risks and challenges that organisations in the mining industry face can be pre-empted by introducing strategic intelligence as early as possible in the strategy management processes. Strategic intelligence is about having the correct information in the hands of the right people at the right time to enable them to make informed strategic business decisions about the future of the organisation. Strategic intelligence is therefore all the information an organisation needs of its micro- and macro-environments to enable it to have a holistic intellectual capacity of all its present processes, anticipate and manage change for the future, develop competitive strategies and improve profitability. In this research, strategic intelligence is proposed to be the convergence and synergy of knowledge management, business intelligence, marketing intelligence and competitive intelligence. A self-administered structured questionnaire was used to measure the extent of the use of strategic management processes, perceived business performance and different intelligence constructs; namely business intelligence, competitive intelligence, marketing intelligence, strategic intelligence and knowledge management in the global mining industry. A response rate of 64% was achieved from a target of 300 mines which were randomly selected from a population of 850 mining organisations. The data showed statistically and practically significant positive relationships between strategic management dimensions, different intelligence constructs and perceived business performance. The results of the regression analysis showed that strategic intelligence can be situated as a function of business intelligence, marketing intelligence, competitive intelligence and knowledge management as proposed to help the mining organisations to develop competitive strategies, adapt to changing circumstances and have sustainable business performance.
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